Southborough encouraging safe Trick or Treating

by beth on October 13, 2020

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Above: With Trick or Treating around the corner, you might want to invest in facemasks that add fun to costumes. (images cropped from pics posted L-R to flickr by KOMU News and to Etsy by ShiftyShirtsCo)

Finally, an annual event that isn’t cancelled!

On Friday, Southborough’s Board of Health decided not to advise against trick or treating in town. According to Public Health Nurse Emily Amico, the Board is instead encouraging the public to read and follow the health and safety guidance issued by the state.

For those of you wondering how advisable it is to send kids door-to-door during a pandemic. . . Governor Baker recently told reporters that he believed that supervised trick-or-treating was safer than the alternative. He opined that if the activity was cancelled, it would prompt more people to hold Halloween parties.

As for parties, the Southborough Fire Association already announced the cancellation of this year’s costume parade. (And it’s safe to say there are no plans to hold the Town’s party traditionally hosted at Finn School each year.)

In other upbeat news for Halloween. . . Stay tuned for details on a new event planned this year – Full Moon Halloween Hikes at Breakneck Hill.

Now, here are the state’s safety tips:

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween

Residents and communities should follow safe and healthy tips to participate in Halloween activities that may limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a reminder, any Halloween activities are subject to the current state gathering size limits as well as applicable sector-specific workplace safety standards.

Consistent with the Halloween activity guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some things to keep in mind in celebrating Halloween this year include: 

  • Enjoy Halloween outside rather than attending indoor events.
  • Place candy on a platter instead of a bowl
  • Instead of traditional trick or treating, opt for one-way trick-or-treating, with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a “grab and go” while keeping distance from others.
  • Consider leaving hand sanitizer by any treats left out for trick-or-treaters to use.
  • Wear a face mask or face covering. For more information on face masks and face coverings, please see the state’s Mask Up MA webpage.
    • A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask or face covering. To protect yourself and others, ensure you are wearing a protective face mask or covering instead of or in addition to a costume mask.
  • Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
  • Refrain from touching your face.
  • Decorate your yard for others to enjoy from their car or while on a socially-distanced walk.
  • Hold virtual costume contests or pumpkin carving events.
  • Celebrate with members of your household with a Halloween-themed meal, Halloween movie night, or by preparing a Halloween scavenger hunt.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.
  • Avoid:
    • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors, or any gatherings that exceed indoor or outdoor gathering limits;
    • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming; and
    • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.
    • Indoor haunted houses; and
    • Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.
    • Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if:
      • you feel unwell;
      • you have tested positive for COVID-19;
      • you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or
      • you have traveled to or from a state that is not classified as lower risk within the last 14 days. For more information on lower risk states, please see the state’s COVID-19 Travel Order webpage.

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